Business

Dwyane Wade loves to take risks in business and is now into NFT.

Former Miami Heat player Dwyane Wade addresses the crowd during a jersey waiver ceremony at the American Airlines Arena on February 22, 2020 in Miami, Florida.

Michael Reeves | Getty Images

Dwyane Wade likes to take risks when it comes to business.

The retired three-time NBA champion, 40, invests in media companies and consumer products. Wade, 40, has stakes in two sports teams and hosts a TV show. Wade also takes risks in the volatile NFT market.

“I’ve always taken risks,” Wade said in an interview with CNBC. “I’ve always been the guy who did things a little differently than everyone else.”

Wade is working with Budweiser Zero on the NFT Collection, which will go on sale May 24th. Wade co-founded an alcohol- and sugar-free drink in 2020. The NFTs will sell for $180 each and give buyers the chance to win prizes, including autographed ones. Wade’s sneakers and the chance to watch a Utah Jazz game with him. Wade is a minority owner of the NBA franchise.

“This is an opportunity to be part of a young brand that is trying to build a fan base and deliver a great experience,” he said, calling the NFT collection another option for fans to “do something unique and cool.”

However, the NFT collection is rolling out during the digital asset downturn cycle. Daily NFT sales are down over 90% since September 2021. Wall Street Magazine. It also comes amid a sell-off in cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin.

But Wade doesn’t mind taking risks on the spot.

“If you look at my basketball career, my business career has been very similar,” he said.

Wade’s key business decision

Wade, who retired from basketball in 2019, has earned almost $200 million in his 16-year NBA career. Spotraka website that tracks sports contacts. Forbes He is estimated to make $17 million a year from endorsements.

“It’s different,” Wade said when asked about his retirement. Wade said he figured out how to apply “the same things that made me special as an athlete” to his post-career during the pandemic.

He set the tone for his post-retirement years with a key business move in the prime of his career.

As a rookie in 2003, Wade signed with sneaker brand Converse. He then took a big step towards Michael Jordan’s Nike brand. in 2009teaming him with fellow NBA stars Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, among others.

Then, in 2012, Chinese sportswear company Li-Ning approached Wade about launching his own shoe line. They offered him a share in the capital. Wade, who called the offer his “most important deal in terms of the business,” took the opportunity to leave the Jordan brand in favor of Li-Ning.

“Thanks for laying the groundwork,” Wade told Jordan. “I’m going to try and make my own version of this.”

Jordan, in turn, told Wade that Wade said he “understands and respects” the move.

As a result, in 2018 Wade signed a lifetime contract with Li-Ning for an undisclosed amount. He was joined by young NBA stars such as New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum and Miami Heat forward Jimmy Butler. Minnesota Timberwolves defenseman D’Angelo Russell also signed with the sneaker line.

“This is a slow build,” Wade said. “Athletes take risks by doing something a little different.”

He added, “I’m not trying to recreate anything,” Wade explained. “I’m trying to build a sneaker and apparel business that players have been wearing for years. I want to create something that will be a legacy for my family.”

Dwyane Wade

Isaac Baldison | NBA | Getty Images

Building on momentum

After his retirement, Wade continued to explore new areas of business.

Wade founded a wine company called Wade Cellars. He has a stake in Players TV media company. He and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, co-founded Proudly, a baby products company. He said the startup “came out of necessity.”

Wade said: “We have a 3-year-old daughter and we go to 80 different stores to buy groceries. We said, “This is not working for us. How can we create something that works for us, the minorities in our world and community?”

In April, Proudly launched its product line, including baby soap and lotion. Over time, the company will offer diapers.

In terms of sports ownership, Wade also acquired a small stake in the NBA’s Utah Jazz in April 2021 and joined Blackstone chief executive David Blitzer as co-owner of MLS club Real Salt Lake. Wade did not disclose the value of his shares, but said it was a small percentage.

Wade said that becoming the majority owner of the team is “the ultimate goal” for him. But in this scenario, his risk appetite may be limited.

“But maybe I’ll go through the process and say to myself, ‘No, you don’t need these headaches,'” he said.


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